5 Common LinkedIn Mistakes

LinkedIn is gaining more and more importance in the job search and career development. But just signing up for a free profile isn’t enough; you need to invest time optimizing your profile and getting involved in LinkedIn in order to benefit from it. And, of course, you need to avoid five of the most common LinkedIn mistakes.


1. Incomplete Profile

LinkedIn routinely reports complete profiles turn up more in searches, receive significantly more views, and generate more interest from other users. And, of course, that’s the whole point of LinkedIn! So an incomplete profile undermines your purpose in being there. Make a commitment to yourself to get your profile complete this week. And remember LinkedIn periodically changes how it measures “completeness,” so you’ll need to make checking your profile’s completeness part of your routine. Even quarterly will suffice for many people.

2. No Photo Or Inappropriate Photo

LinkedIn in a professional networking site, and so your photo should reflect your general industry and your personal professionalism. As lawyers, we’re part of a generally conservative profession, so a business or business casual photo is usually better than a casual one. And there are certainly limits to how casual you want to be on LinkedIn! This is no place for a cleavage shot, or the photo from that party boat in Jamaica, or you dressed as a clown for your nephew’s third birthday. Get a recent high quality photo that reflects the image you want to project. How do you want prospective employers, recruiters, and leaders in the industry to view you?

3. Tying Yourself To Your Current Employer

Whether its using your work e-mail address to sign up for your account or using a headline like “Legal Intern at Acme Law Partners, LLP,” tying yourself too closely to your employer is a mistake. Your LinkedIn profile should be a way to attract opportunities to you, not just reinforce that you’re an instrument of your employer. Focus your LinkedIn profile on your accomplishments, what you offer, and how you can benefit clients and employers.

4. Lying Or Misleading

This should go without saying, but don’t use your LinkedIn profile to lie or otherwise mislead people. Lying or misleading might advance short-term goals of generating interest in your, but those lies and misrepresentations will be uncovered. The only question is when, and how much damage you have done to yourself. Go ahead and put your best foot forward, but everything on your LinkedIn profile should be true and survive a background check. If you’re tempted to lie because you’re feeling insecure about something in your background, then the best thing to do is to identify that insecurity and do something about it. If your technical skills are lacking, then improve them. If your education is lacking, then improve it—or find a way to counterbalance it. Lying or misleading will only hurt you in the long-run.

5. Not Enough Connections

LinkedIn is a networking site. Therefore, it can only work for you if you build a network. Don’t stop after you’ve connected with your classmates and friends at work. You need to expand your network beyond 150 people—and higher up the hierarchy to include possible mentors, experienced recruiters, mid-level and senior attorneys who make hiring decisions and can influence the hiring process and your career development—if you’re going to start finding and attracting opportunities. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Diane submitted. She has recently worked with a co-worker on a group project. When it came time to present the project at a meeting, Diane let her co-worker present. While it went great, the co-worker proceed to take credit for nearly all of Diane's work. Frustrating to say the least!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if your co-worker took credit for the work you did...right in front of your colleagues AND boss!

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Cam submitted. He's been working at a job for awhile, but recently overheard a hiring manager making fun of a candidate with autism right after an interview-not only awkward, but VERY unprofessional!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if witnessed a hiring manager at your organization making fun of a candidate who they had just interviewed who had autism.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less

Starting a family is one of the biggest milestones in a person's life. It's in those first few months when a parent can really bond with their newborn and make lifelong memories. However, for some new dads, it can be difficult to juggle being a new parent while remaining dedicated to their career.

Fortunately, some companies have generous paternity leave policies that give new dads the ability to take time off of work to stay home with their child.

SHOW MORE Show less

There are LOTS of questions around resume dos and don'ts. There's so much advice out there that it can be overwhelming to try and figure out what's the correct answer.

During our weekly live Office Hours on YouTube, two of our coaches, Ariella Coombs and J.T. O'Donnell, answer questions live from viewers related to their job search, career success, on the job situations and more.

We complied a simple list of what we find to be the most common questions our coaches get about resumes. We hope you find this helpful.

Let's start with the basics...

SHOW MORE Show less